I’ve been in a bit of a funk the last few days, and I know why. I pretend that I’m a little bored, or possibly burnt out on this or that, but the reality is that I’m stalling. I’ve been through this kind of phase before, and I know exactly how I get. Right now, I’m bumbling around under the guise that I’m waiting for my voice to come into focus so that the writing I want to do sounds the way I want it to sound.
But that’s bullshit.
The truth is that whatever writing voice I’m looking for has to be hunted down and captured. It’s not going to just pop up one day and make everything hunky-dory. If I want my writing to sound a certain way, I have to pound out the dull edges and grind down the errant spots and work at it.
So why don’t I?
Because I’m a bit of a crybaby. Over the last few weeks I’ve been thinking about my “failed” deadlines, deadlines that I imposed upon myself with no real rhyme or reason beyond “it would be awesome if…” I was supposed to have a book self-published by now. I don’t. I’m supposed to be working on putting together a flash fiction collection now that I’ve got a good amount piled up. I haven’t been. I’m supposed to be burning through the chapters of The Hanging of James Adder because the story is already written in my head, I just need to get it on the page. Instead, I keep rewriting the first chapter.
I’m bogged down by things that don’t matter. These things don’t matter because they aren’t real. They’re things that I conjured from nothing because I read the ideas on other blogs and thought they sounded good. I don’t depend on writing for my livelihood. No one is out there counting the minutes until my next release. As far as I can tell, I have an active fan base of about nine people. I don’t mean to be dismissive about that or them, I love that there are people who enjoy reading what I write, but it’s a reality that I need to keep in front of me. I’m not the next Stephen King. The world isn’t waiting for me to produce the next great work of art. I’m just a guy who enjoys writing.
The good news is that despite all this baggage I’ve been carrying around for the last few weeks, I do still enjoy writing. It’s a comfort to be so grounded in that. I write because I need to, something I’m not going to get into today, and because I think I could get to be pretty decent at it someday.
But I’m stalling. I’m carrying too much baggage. Thankfully, words, whether scrawled across paper or typed onto a screen, are the always-available tool to unload these negative things.
Anyway, back to Team Fortress 2 😀